NY Comic Con 2022
By Aaron Herman
New York Comic Con was an amazing event filled with endless entertainment and endless opportunities for comic book enthusiasts. The organizers, ReedPOP, truly outdid themselves in putting on a spectacular show.
One of the highlights of the convention for us was the opportunity to speak with some amazing organizations and individuals. We had the chance to chat with the NYC Ghostbusters, who shared their passion for all things ghostly and paranormal. We also had the chance to speak with Vader’s Vault, a company that creates incredible custom lightsabers and other Star Wars-inspired props. Finally, we had the pleasure of talking with Harley Yee Rare Comics, who shared some of their amazing rare finds with us.
But perhaps the most exciting moment of the convention for us was when we stumbled upon the first comic featuring Sabra, a character created by Bill Mantlo and Sal Buscema. Sabra, also known as Ruth Bat-Seraph, is a mutant Israeli superheroine and agent of the Mossad. She made her first appearance in Incredible Hulk #250 and had a full appearance in Incredible Hulk #256. Sabra is set to appear in the upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe film, Captain America: New World Order, which is set to be released in 2024.
Overall, our experience at New York Comic Con was truly unforgettable. We can’t wait to see what ReedPOP has in store for us at future conventions.
Comic Books and the Holocaust
By Aaron Herman
How do you teach future generations about the holocaust. One of the key elements of connecting to future generations is connecting to them on their level. Comic books are a unique way to tell difficult stories through a lens that can connect to children through a unique lens. In a book called book called We Spoke Out: Comic Books and the Holocaust by legendary comic artist Neal Adams, Holocaust scholar Rafael Medoff and comics historian Craig Yoe (Yoe Books/IDW Publishing) documents that effort and gathers 18 of the landmark stories from the 1950s through the 1980s into a single collection. Unusually, the book includes reprints from both DC and Marvel, as well as a handful of other publishers, under the same cover.
“It’s an incredibly rare event when competitors DC and Marvel join forces–but then again, there has never before been a book like this!” said editor Craig Yoe, who spearheaded the project. “These top publishers saw their social responsibility and the unique opportunity to strongly and in unison speak out.” We Spoke Out also includes a Batman story from 1971 called “Night of the Reaper,” written by Denny O’Neil and drawn by Adams in his trademark realistic and dramatic style. It’s another tale of a Holocaust survivor seeking justice against the perpetrators, and it raises some difficult questions about lines that even victims should not cross.
Marvel also addressed the legacy of the Holocaust in many of its comics. “I take great pride in the role comic creators played in introducing this topic,” wrote Stan Lee in his introduction to We Spoke Out. Nazis turned up frequently as villains in Marvel comics during the 60s and 70s, but the company usually addressed the underlying issues of racism and fear through metaphor and subtext, as in the saga of the X-Men, a team of mutants irrationally despised for their difference from ordinary humans.
In one issue, Uncanny X-Men #161, the subtext became explicit when writer Chris Clarement filled in the backstory of the X-Men’s greatest foe, Magneto.
“I was trying to figure out what the most transfiguring event of our century that would tie in to the super-concept of the X-Men as persecuted outcasts,” said Claremont in an interview quoted in the book. “It had to be the Holocaust. One I found a point of departure for Magneto, all the rest fell into place, because it allowed me to turn him into a tragic figure who wants to save his people.”
We Spoke Out is an important, and unfortunately timely, reminder of how a popular artform dealt straightforwardly with troubling recent history: not by equivocating or shrinking from controversy, but by taking sides.
Summer Gift Guide: GoPro
By Aaron Herman
GoPro leads the way for innovative tech for creators. The GoPro Hero Black 10 gives creators the ability to capture stories through unique vantage points and enahnces the way you can connect to audiences. The HERO10 Black Creator Edition is an all-in-one content capturing powerhouse that makes vlogging, filmmaking and live streaming easier than ever. This complete system features pro-quality 5.3K video, Emmy® award-winning HyperSmooth 4.0 video stabilization, enhanced audio, powerful LED lighting and 4 hours of 4K recording per charge. The game-changing HERO10 Black with unbelievable image quality. A super-versatile hand grip with all-day charge and one-hand control. Tons of mounting options. Lights. Sound. And unlimited cloud backup. It’s everything you need to create your masterpiece. Learn more at https://gopro.com/en/us/
Holiday Gift Guide: Gozney
The restaurant-grade portable pizza oven for your backyard.
Cook restaurant quality pizza at home with Roccbox, designed for ease of use and unrivalled performance.
Portable – Take Roccbox anywhere with it’s retractable legs, detachable burner and built-in thermometer.
Reaches 950°F – Enjoy unrivalled cooking results created by a thick stone floor, dense insulation and a unique rolling flame.
Gas or wood fuelled – Roccbox comes with a gas burner as standard, and the option to buy a detachable wood burner as an additional accessory.
Safe touch – Host pizza parties with the family friendly pizza oven, thanks to Roccbox’s safe-touch silicone jacket.
Restaurant-grade – Engineered to replicate the performance of Gozney’s professional pizza ovens, used by leading chefs and restaurants all over the world.
Holiday Gift Guide Tipsy Elves
Each year Tipsy Elves always ups their game in holiday apparel. They have an array of options like have ugly holiday sweaters, t- shirts, jumpsuits and so much more. You will own your holiday party with their apparel .
Holiday Gift Guide- Ooni Koda 16
If you love cooking pizza at home the Ooni Koda 16 is an incredible gift for the pizza lover. It is a gas powered pizza oven that is compact and makes incredible pizza in 60 seconds.This portable outdoor oven is sized to bake a 16″ pizza and uses super-easy gas ignition to turn on the heat. Adjust the heat control knob to cook all your outdoor favorites, from seared steak, roast chicken and vegetables to apple pie and fruit crisps. Perfect for outdoor pizza parties, the Koda features a compact, chimney-free design that travels easily to picnics and tailgate parties.
-Portable pizza oven features one-touch gas ignition.
-Extra-wide to bake 16″ pizza and large dishes such as meat, fish, stews, vegetables and flatbread; also ideal for focaccia, calzones and naan.
-Reaches 932°F in 25 minutes and cooks authentic wood-fired-tasting pizza in just 60 seconds.
-L-shaped gas burner requires just one rotation for even baking.
-Adjustable heat control reaches broad range of temperatures.
-Extra-thick cordierite baking stone locks in heat, cooking crusts to perfection.
-Compatible with propane and natural gas (natural gas conversion kit, sold separately, required).
Chanukat Habayit WTA
About 9 years ago, I was introduced to the founding team of Westchester Torah Academy. At the time, I didn’t have any kids but was extremely interested in new models in Jewish education and ways to solve the “tuition crisis”. I was amazed in what they were looking to do using #technology , blended learning to change the game in Jewish education . When you say you are looking to build a school based on excellence in education and affordable Jewish education it seems like a oxymoron. The truth is you have to be willing to disrupt and look to future proof Jewish education for families. That is what WTA has done. I helped put together the first open house and over the years volunteered in different capacities. Now Michael is in 3rd grade and loving WTA. One day Ari will join him as well. This past year, WTA graduated their first 8th grade which was monumental . Today was another milestone where they had the Chanukat Habayit (grand opening) of their new campus. It was another incredible moment showing that with big ideas, committed donors and team you can accomplish anything. Thank you to the board, staff and donors who makes this all possible each day.
ECOncrete® provides high quality cost effective concrete products including, bio-enhancing concrete additives, science based designed forms and form liners, applied to precast or cast-on-site ECOncrete® elements. ECOncrete®’s innovative solutions reduce the ecological footprint of ports, marinas, coastal protections schemes and urban waterfront projects, while adding to their structural integrity.
ECOncrete® transforms the way our future coastlines look and function, by replacing barren “gray” urban coastlines and waterfronts, with high-performance, resilient, blue-green infrastructure, which foster highly productive thriving ecosystems.
ECOncrete® was founded in 2012 by Dr. Shimrit Perkol-Finkel and Dr. Ido Sella, marine ecologists, experts in urban marine ecology and leaders in the growing field of ecological enhancement and green engineering technologies. The company offers a unique multidisciplinary blend of marine ecologists, biologists, geologists, concrete experts, engineers, and designers, working hand in hand to bring concrete to life.
Innovation Alley: Yaron Bob
Yaron bob is an Israeli artists behind Rockets into Roses. He takes rockets landed in Israel and turns them into beautiful art. He brings light where there was darkness. His art is unique and meaningful. Each piece tells a story of survival and hope.
Yaron is a teacher and a part-time metal sculptor in Moshav Yated, Israel, makes roses out of Kassam rockets fired out of Gaza.
Mr. Bob had two close calls with rockets and he knew he needed to react to the terror that he and his community were facing.
Yaron wanted to create something that speaks of growth and prosperity and to make something out of the destruction and of the ruin of the Kassam.
The truth is because the rocket is an instrument of death he really didn’t want to handle it.
However, his frustration was intensifying with so many missiles falling on Israel and so many alarms.
The situation was very stressful on him and his family. “It finally struck me that I need to make a rose from the Kassam”, Yaron says. Now. Bob collects the spent rockets, most given to him by the police, after they have been checked by the bomb squad.
Israeli Artist Creates Beauty from War Materials
Each rose takes about three to four hours of turning and twisting the steel. Then, hand sculpting intricate petals and leaves on the rose. The sculpture’s base is a map of Israel with the rose growing out of the border with Gaza.
Although the rose, stem and base are made of Kassam remains, there is no sign the flower comes from rocket metal.
“I take the Kassam, the instrument of death and I change it, I transfer it into something of beauty.”
Bob is not a pacifist, but he would like Hamas to know talking is better than firing rockets and starting a war.
His goal is to somehow let the world know people in Israel are not hungry for war and what they really want is a bright and beautiful future.
Holiday Gift Guide – Shinesty
This holiday season you need to check out Shinesty. They are one of the most innovative apparel companies on the market today. They have suits, masks, pajamas and much more.If you are looking to own your virtual holiday party Shinesty has you covered. One of their most interesting pajamas is their Pajamaralls . Perfect for any occasion, comfortable and fun.